Tatuaje Regio Reserva (2013)

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In 2009, Tatuaje Cigars Inc./Havana Cellars released a variation of its Tatauje Seleccion de Cazador (Brown Label) Regios with a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper replacing the Ecuadorian habano that is normally found on the cigars in that line.

Pete Johnson had long talked about the ambitious plans he had for Tatuaje’s 10th anniversary, one of which involves bringing back both the Regio Reserva and the Noella Reserva. In March, it was announced that the cigars would not only be released, but they would be a regular addition to the Tatuaje portfolio. 

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We had more details about the release in a news story back in March of 2013:

Two famed Tatuaje releases are nearing respective rereleases as part of Pete Johnson’s 10th anniversary. The Havana Cellars head told halfwheel both are expected to see 2,000-box shipments in “March/April and then in November.”

The confirmation follows an e-mail from New Havana Cigars’ Dan Welsh, who is also involved with Johnson in L’Atelier Imports, hinting at a “shipping soon” status for both rereleases. Johnson told halfwheel pricing would be the same as the non-Reserva versions of each, meaning the Noella Reserva carries an MSRP of $8.00 per cigar and the Regio Reserva will sell for $10.00 plus applicable local taxes. Both cigars are sold in boxes of 25.

This is the third release for the Noella Reserva, which debuted in 2006 and was rereleased in 2009. The Regio Reserva debuted in 2009, limited to 200 boxes of 25 cigars.

In addition, the Tatuaje Federal 90th Anniversary Redux was released this past weekend at the New Hampshire retailer’s annual anniversary celebration. Johnson has also stated plans to ship the next release of the Tatuaje Cohete to Tower Pipe & Cigar in the near future. 

Here are both releases of the Tatuaje Regio Reserva:

Tatuaje Regio Reserva Releases

  • Tatuaje Regio Reserva (5 1/2 x 50) – 2009 – 200 Boxes of 25 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Regio Reserva (5 1/2 x 50) – 2013 – 2,500 Boxes of 25 Cigars (62,500 Total Cigars)*

*The cigar is expected to be released each year in the future.

Tatuaje Regio Reserva  2013 1 

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Regio Reserva (2013)
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $10.00 (Boxes of 25, $250.00)
  • Date Released: March 22, 2013
  • Number of to be Cigars Released: 2,500 Boxes of 25 Cigars (62,500 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

A dark espresso brown wrapper that is noticeably rough to the touch covers the Tatuaje Regio Reserva, and while there is a little oil present, it is quite firm when squeezed. Aroma coming from the wrapper is a combination of strong barnyard, earth, leather and sweet coffee, along with just a touch of black pepper.

The Tatuaje Regio Reserva starts off the first third with an extremely strong spicy earth profile that dominates the first third, although other flavors of espresso, leather, oak, coffee and dark cocoa shine through every once in a while. There is also a fairly strong black pepper on the retrohale and only adds to the spice that is present, but it begins to die down as the first third draws to a close. I also am noticing a soft sweetness that is just not distinct enough to pinpoint yet, but it seems to be getting stronger. Construction-wise, the burn is a bit wavy but not bad enough to correct, while the draw is quite loose, and I am hoping it tightens up in the final two thirds. Smoke production is copious, and the overall strength ends the first third close to the medium mark, but seems to be increasing at a rapid rate. 

Tatuaje Regio Reserva  2013 2

The slight sweetness that was so indistinct in the first third literally explodes at around the start of the second third, and becomes very identifiable as a syrupy maple note that combines extremely well with the earthy spiciness that continues to be a dominant note in the profile, albeit less than in the first third. Other flavors of creamy leather, coffee, oak, dark cocoa and slight licorice play complimentary roles, but none ever get close to knocking the earthiness out of the dominant role, and the black pepper on the retrohale and spice on the tongue have both decreased. The burn has evened out nicely, but the draw is still much too loose for my liking, and the overall smoke production is still way above average. Strength-wise the Regio Reserva has easily hit medium, and while it continues to increase, I don’t see it going much further.

 

Tatuaje Regio Reserva  2013 3

The final third of the Regio Reserva stays the course with the same base earthy and barnyard notes dominant, along with the wonderful syrupy maple sweetness that combines so well with both. However, there is an interesting addition of some cinnamon to go along with the other flavors of cocoa, espresso, leather and oak that stays in the profile until the end of the smoke. The black pepper and spice notes have decreased even more, but are still a major player in the profile, while the smoke production has not decreased at all, and continues to impress. Both the burn and the draw are excellent at this point, with the draw especially becoming quite a bit tighter, and the strength tops out just north of the medium mark as expected. I am easily a able to get down to less than an inch before putting the cigar down.

Tatuaje Regio Reserva  2013 4

Final Notes: 

  • While the burn was great, the draw was very loose on one sample, although excellent on the second one.
  • As with quite a few of Tatuaje’s recent Connecticut broadleaf releases on every sample I smoked and on every cigar I looked at, there are what look to be very small shiny specks on the wrapper. This has been evident before in some Tatuaje releases and according to Johnson:

    That’s the heavy mineral content from the farm where we get our Broadleaf. Many people think it comes from the bands but it is from the rich soil on the farm. You can actually see these specks on the leaf during process. If you were to walk the farm, your pants will look like you got a lap dance from an overly bronzed up dancer.

  • This is totally different from some of the gold or silver specks that are seen due to the gold of specific bands rubbing off a bit
  • Smoke production was extremely copious on the sample I reviewed and photographed, but fairly normal on the other two.
  • Regios translates from Spanish to regal or royal, but there is also a huge alternative world in comic books and online games called Chrome Shelled Regios that I had no idea existed.
  • Johnson told halfwheel that 2,000 boxes were shipped in March of 2013 and another 2,000 were planned to be shipped in November. That number was cut to 500 however, while going forward only 2,000 boxes will be shipped yearly. 
  • While I prefer the size of the Noella Reserva, after smoking multiples of both, I think the Regio Reserva is the better cigar between the two when comparing the new 2013 releases.
  • The Noella Reserva, the Regio Reserva, the Cohete and a limited number of the Black Label Corona Gorda were all rereleased for Tatuaje’s 10th Anniversary last year, along with special packaging and bands on the regular Seleccion de Cazador releases.
  • The samples smoke for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 20 minutes.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Tatuaje Regio Reservas, site sponsor Atlantic Cigar has them in stock.
91 Overall Score

Although there are exceptions – like the Tatuaje Pork Tenderloin – I prefer the broadleaf-wrapped Tatuaje blends as fresh as possible, as opposed to with any sort of significant age on them. To me, the flavors are more distinct and quite a bit more complex when they are fresh, and the newest incarnation of the Regio Reserva bore this out, with strong barnyard, earth, dark cocoa and a pervasive syrupy maple sweetness that all combines together wonderfully. An excellent example of what can be done with Connecticut broadleaf and on par with the original release of the same blend back in 2009.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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